| Fadley Faisal |
A MALAYSIAN duo was sentenced to four years’ jail for credit card fraud yesterday at the Intermediate Court.
Ching Fatt Chuen, 25, and Muhammad Syafiq bin Effindi, 23, pleaded guilty to six charges of cheating in making purchases and charges of using forged credit cards.
Judge Pengiran Hajah Hanani binti Pengiran Haji Metussain heard from DPP Muhammad Abdul Raafe’ bin Haji Ibrahim that Ching worked as an assistant cook before his arrest. Muhammad Syafiq is self-employed.
Sometime before January 14, 2015 in Malaysia, the defendants met with a man named Ah Chong who recruited the defendants in the counterfeit credit card scamming scheme.
Ah Chong gave the defendants their air tickets and they arrived in Brunei on January 14, 2015 armed with nine counterfeit credit cards – all in the name of Ching Fatt Chuen.
At about 9am, both defendants took a taxi to The Mall, Gadong. Sometime in the afternoon, they went to AV Audio & Video, The Mall, and cheated a sales assistant by purchasing an Apple iPhone 6 worth $1,040 and an Apple iPhone 6 Plus worth $1,160 using one of the counterfeit credit cards.
Once the transaction was completed, the defendants took a taxi to Bandar and continued to walk around town to find other shops where the scheme could be carried out.
The defendants attempted to make a number of purchases whilst in the Bandar area but were unsuccessful. The numerous unsuccessful attempts triggered a fraud alert at Baiduri Bank, which reported the fraudulent transactions to the police. The police conducted an investigation into the matter.
Whilst initial investigations were being conducted the duo was waiting for their flight back to Malaysia, and the police managed to track the whereabouts of the duo and arrested them at the airport at about 9.09pm the same day.
At the time of arrest by police, both defendants were found with nine counterfeit credit cards. As part of the investigations by the Commercial Crime Unit, CID Police, the defendants’ statements were taken. Both admitted to being recruited by a Malaysian man named Ah Chong to fly to Brunei to purchase goods using counterfeit credit cards. The goods were supposed to be given to Ah Chong to be sold off and they would be given a commission from the sales. The defendants also agreed for a total of four offences to be taken into consideration.